Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Citizens for Integrity Statement

By Bruce Danielson

Citizens for Integrity is a good government mission. Spending a life fighting battles for equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunities for all forms a compass to move forward in the darkness of greed.

Citizens for Integrity is not a NIMBY project. Many of those who have come together in this effort do not live close to any of the neighborhoods in question. We have nothing to personally / financially gain from these issues. My personally work will never intersect with any of the parties to these issues.

There are those who criticize what we are doing in order to expedite the ability to get a construction bid or some other favor.

The goal of Citizens for Integrity is only good government. The Ballot is Sacred. How hard is it to understand?

Just imagine any of you were running for election, supporting a measure to say make green the new purple, you would want to make sure every vote counts. You would wish the ballot reflected the hard work you put in to get the Initiative on the ballot so your neighbors could vote on it.

We have processes in place to make it happen. We have problems with the current cobbled up mess our city government is showing. We have a mayor who has shown no bounds for breaking long established customs and rules. He has fired (or arranged for) quality personnel, appointed replacements to do his work and then gets upset when someone finds out what is going on.

We are pointing to problems with an election and the system. The leaders of the four petition efforts are not driving this effort, I am.

This is not a NIMBY effort, this is a moral and legal effort. When will you get off your computers and fight for something good on behalf of your least able neighbors in the name of good government? If you sit at your computers and complain all day, you are doing nothing to improve the system for all of us.

So to those who only want building projects so they can sell materials to it, sell land, have their kids going swimming or sneak a special code into a big complicated document, we are sorry for you. You have lost the value of our system and ways. This is not a greed movement, this is a good government movement.

The next few days will tell a lot about our system and the way we move into the future. Hang on, it could be a bumpy ride.

SIDENOTE (Detroit Lewis): I watched the Minnehaha County Commission meeting it shows why the County Commission differs from the City Council. Bruce receives praise from the commission for finding errors and asking them to get resolved and even the county auditor, Litz attests to Bruce’s diligence. Walk over to Carnegie Town hall, and all he receives is scorn for finding mistakes. The tale of two cities I guess.

And now onto the Council meeting. Crickets. No explanations, no apologies, no remorse.

Why TIF’s are hurting us . . .

This quote from County Commissioner, John Pekas, pretty much sums it up;

“We are the constant underfunded entity in the state of South Dakota,” Pekas said. “This is the perfect poetic situation. The state has a surplus, the city has a surplus and we are out of money.”

I have often felt that there should be a shift in property tax dollars towards the county, I have also felt that the School Board, the County Commission and City Council should all have to approve a TIF with a 60% majority.

Trust me, if the law changed to allow this kind of approval process, no more TIF’s would be approved, and ironically, development would continue.

Minnehaha County Commission leaves petition policy ‘As is’

The commission decided today to leave the petitioners policy in front of the administration building ‘As is’ with possible improvements. They have also posted the policy on the building for petitioners to read. The commission is also considering budgeting for improving the entry way to make it more ADA compliant.

I will applaud the Commission for listening to constituents on this issue and making a common sense decision allowing petitioners to easily petition their government instead of making it more difficult.

County Commission to discuss petitions at meeting on Tuesday (Again)

Hopefully this will be the final time the CC talks about this issue. I think they will be presented with ‘final findings and solutions’ on the issue. Meeting is at 9 AM, Tuesday the 14th in the CC chambers.

Limiting Petitioners?

If you believe in any cause, like the right to vote, the right to speak publicly about the government, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Equality, Marijuana legalization, ANYTHING it doesn’t really matter — if you believe the FIRST AMENDMENT is the foundation to our democracy then listen up! 

The Minnehaha County Commission is meeting today to discuss the presence of petition gatherers outside the doorway at the County Admin building & Courthouse. Today’s meeting is just for discussion at 1pm, but a formal policy to restrict or ban petitioning could be voted on at the Commission’s weekly meeting tomorrow morning, 9AM in the Commission chambers (courthouse), and that meeting will be open to public input.

The County admin building is frequented by thousands of citizens on a weekly basis, to renew drivers’ licenses, car registration, voter registration, pay fines, file civil claims, and many, many more functions of the government that citizens are entitled. The County Admin building and courthouse are by far the best place to gather petition signatures from registered voters.

The First Amendment guarantees the right to all American citizens to petition the government for redress of grievances. This right is under serious attack at the national and state level, and now today, at our local County level. If we cannot petition the government in a taxpayer-funded town square to refer policies/legislation or propose our own ideas that affect everyone in the community, then our rights to petition the government and peacefully assemble are seriously infringed upon. Our founding fathers decided these rights were so important they put them in the First Amendment of the Constitution along with freedom of speech and religion, and there’s no excuse why these rights should be “restricted” or banned in a public place.

When I collected petition signatures for the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion in 2010, I got about 1-200 signatures each day outside the courthouse. This grassroots effort was successful after 6 months of collecting 33,000 signatures from around the state, and the vast majority of those signatures came from outside the County Admin building in Sioux Falls. The County Admin building in Rapid City was the second most productive location! With out these locations for collecting signatures I seriously doubt there is any real ability to collect enough signatures for statewide initiatives – SD is a rural and spread-out state without a lot of high foot traffic areas, we’re a driving community. I explored every idea, went to so many events, door-to-door, and tried the DMV, the library, the post office and any imaginable public place – and no other place was/is as productive (or appropriate) as the County Admin building. Mind you, it’s also very convenient for citizens to register to vote at the County building to be eligible to sign petitions.


******* I support the right of citizens to gather petition signatures on the County Admin and Courthouse property! *******

My goal is to collect 100 signatures before today’s meeting, and 200 signatures before tomorrows meeting. The impromptu petition has no formal effect but will send a clear message to the County Commissioners.

Here’s a flashback to my 19-year-old self getting started in activism, by collecting petition signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot! Enjoy!



Emmett Reistroffer

Minnehaha County Commission decides to review the petitioner policy

I would like to give commissioners Cindy Heideberger and John Pekas props for voting to keep the petitioner policy AS IS. Commisioner Dick Kelly made an amendment to their motion and asked that the policy be reviewed over a 90 day period. We testified that system works well now, and does not need to be changed. I argued that the county administration building is the perfect place for petitioners because that is where citizens are already coming to do business with their government. I also reminded the commission that the taxpayers own the building and pay for it’s function. I ended by saying if elected officials do not like petitions, they should do a better job as elected officials.

I also want to clear up any misconceptions of commissioner Barth’s role in the SF parks board, and any connections he may have, in an email from him today he told me this;

Hey Scott!
Good to see you and hear your views.
I am not in any way involved with the city park board. I have never been to one of their meeting and I don’t know if I am even acquainted with any members of the board as I don’t know who they are.  No on has complained to me about the Spellerberg petition but I have had many complaints about petition carriers.
I had previously mentioned that Barth was the contact person for the county when it comes to the SF Parks board, apparently he is not. Thank you for the clarification Jeff.

UPDATE: Why is Minnehaha County Commissioner, Jeff Barth taking photos of petitioners?

YouTube Preview Image

As I have reported this past week, the County Commission plans to boot petitioners out of the lobby.

I found out this past Friday, commissioner Barth was taking photos of a petitioner, which is a form of intimidation and harassment, I am assuming to build his case.

UPDATE: I also found out today that Barth is the county commission contact person for the city’s park board. Curious if the Park board had anything to do with this decision to all of a sudden limit (pool) petitioners?

Not sure where all this hostility towards petitioners comes from, but oddly, it almost always comes from elected officials – gee, I wonder why?

I hope to speak at the CC meeting on Tuesday about their silliness and paranoia.

Agenda: agendacc

If only elected officials did their jobs

Minnehaha County Commissioner, Dick Kelly, just can’t understand why anyone would want to petition their government;

Commissioner Dick Kelly countered, “Everybody has the right to petition. The problem is they have to work within the accommodations we have. I thought last summer was really bad. Petitioners were out there for everything you can think of.”

Dick, you are correct we have the RIGHT to petition our government. We also pay for the heating and the cooling of the county administration building, it is a public facility, we own the place.

I have often said if our local elected officials did the WORK OF THE PEOPLE we would not have to have so many petition drives, but nowadays it seems like that is the only way to get anything accomplished in local government, unless of course they postpone an election :(

Instead complaining about petitioners Dick, why not just listen to the public and serve them better instead increasing their taxes and giving yourself a raise. Let’s talk about who is ‘BAD’.

Thanks County Commission

I would like to personally thank the Minnehaha County Commission for raising my property taxes almost $40 a year so they can have a raise (for an elected, part-time position they CHOSE to run for). Rat Finks!

Good thing the county had an opt-out, otherwise there would be no raises for the part-time commissioners

Am I the only one that catches the Minnehaha County Commissioners in constant contradictions?

Signaling Minnehaha County’s emergence from several years of budget austerity, county commissioners voted themselves a pay raise Wednesday.

The county has turned the corner on a period of “economic dire straits,” according to Commissioner John Pekas.

Okay, so just a few months ago we had to have an opt-out because of the increasing number of prosecutions, but now all of a sudden we have ‘turned a corner.’ Huh? Is Mayor Huether running the county commission also?